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Marriage Equality in Korea, Part 2

August 4, 2015

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So, we had a very good response with lots of people weighing in on the Marriage Equality in Korea issue. More people gave answers than usual, and it felt kinda unfair to leave out other people’s opinions. We talk a lot about how Korea is changing in a positive way, and I think in this particular Speaker’s Corner we see that with the two girls from middle school expressing their opinion so eloquently and clearly.

One of the things we talk about the most is how the older Korean generation is still stuck in their ways. I think this can be said about most of the world’s older generation (hahahah) and it kind of always follows the same cycle of being adverse to change since you’re just so old and have experienced life one way for so long. I can understand that attitude when it comes to business practices because you might have an understanding of the companies you work with better than a younger generation, but when it comes to things like gay marriage I never understood why people care so much about it! It’s not like it is going to personally effect you and your life, it’s going to effect the two people who are just trying to get married!

It does make me wonder what things I’ll find strange when I get old and fuddy-duddy…so what things are considered to be wrong or bad in your culture by the elder generation? For example, my grandma hated my tattoo since it was a criminal thing in her mind.

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Marriage Equality in Korea, Part 2

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  1. Surprisingly enough, something that isn’t looked down upon (at least when it comes to me) in the older generation in the US is my hair color. Pretty much since middle school, I’ve had oddly dyed hair (pink, blue, purple, green, orange…I think all the basics at this point) and without fail, the most compliments I get about my hair come from the elderly! We usually chit chat about it for a little bit and they say that they’ve always wanted to try it and I always tell them to go for it. :)

    So although I have certainly met my share of racist, homophobic, tattoo-hating, piercing-scoffing elders; they at least aren’t all stuck in their ways!

    3 years ago
  2. Everyone in my family (except for me) are anti-gay marriage. Even my younger brother (he is 20 now). And it’s kind of hard being the only one in the family who supports the LGBT movement… (especially considering the fact that I myself am not 100% straight. Though I doubt that I’m going to come out any time soon). I’ve tried reasoning with them, asked them Why. But basically the answer was just an extended version of “It’s wrong, harmful and disgusting”. *sigh*
    I thought that the younger generation… that My generation, was already reasonable enough to accept this, yet I was wrong. I thought, that maybe it’s just my brother who does not share the same views as me, yet I was proven to have assumed it wrong. I gave a presentation on LGBT movement in the UK during one of the British culture lectures and received quite a few frowns and insulting comments from other students. I was taken aback by this. I wanted to know their reasons for opposing it yet no one dared to speak up. I was disappointed again. I‘m always curious for Why people feel this way or another, why they behave this way or another yet few dare to speak their minds. Well at least I was positively surprised by our professor‘s response stating that she supports both the gay marriage and child adoption. ^w^

    As for anything else that the older generation strongly opposes here… Foreigners. Lithuania, unfortunately, is still a highly conservative country (kinda similar to Korea in this sense). Immigrants, Especially colored ones are Not welcomed here(by the older generation And some of the younger one as well).
    And I can‘t think of anything else that people would Strongly oppose here. I guess homophobia and racism are the biggest issues here.

    3 years ago
  3. I agree with the ones who talked about the pride parades being really provacative. I myself am gay but I don’t understand why a lot of people at the pride parade have to act in such a provocative manner. I know that sometimes that’s like a protesting tactic that people do, to grab more attention, but if they want positive attention (especially to the older generations and even the religious groups) they should do it in a more respectful manner. Especially seeing as how Korea is so structured off of respect.

    3 years ago
    • The situation in Korea may be different. However, in the U.S., being “provocative” in activism is a valuable thing. Why? Because not doing so creates the implication that marginalized groups only deserve rights if they act in the “correct” way. Straight people in the U.S. can literally be serial killers and still have the right to marry (Google Charles Manson for proof). There are gay people who are rude, disruptive, and any other negative trait you can name, just as with straight people, or people of any other sexuality. That should have no impact on their marriage rights. That, and disruption has a long history of working in the U.S., from the Boston Tea Party to the Civil Rights Movement. When you’re dealing with irrational prejudices and deeply ingrained social attitudes, politeness only gets you so far.

      3 years ago
  4. I think the group who were talking about collective and individulist cultures hit on something important. I think LGBTQ groups in Asia have to really think outside the box in gaining acceptance. What worked in western individualist nations is not going to work in a collective nation. They’ve got a unique challenge in that it’s not just about convincing society to accept their right to live openly and equally, they’ve got to convince the society that they are essential and helpful to the group as a whole.

    3 years ago